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2 GIANTS

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OVERALL RANK 5

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP SAN FRANCISCO

The one thing the team can't afford is an injury in the outfield. Denard Span is a little long in the tooth, and Hunter Pence has been having a hard time staying healthy, though he used to be an iron man. If he gets hurt, they have issues.... They have one of the best double-play combinations in the league in Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford....Brandon Belt is going to have to step up his game. This is a guy they gave $79 million based on what they expected him to do in the future—well, the future is now.... If Belt gets off to a slow start, don't be surprised if Buster Posey gets a little more time at first. The catching position is such a difficult spot to find a real two-way guy like Posey, and that's why they don't want to move him, but you look at Joe Mauer and can't help but think if they'd moved him to first sooner, it might have extended his career. Posey is one of the best players in the league.... Eduardo Núñez is at third, but knocking on the door is Christian Arroyo. That guy can really swing the bat.... Madison Bumgarner, my gosh, the dude is a horse. There's probably 10 true aces in baseball, and he's definitely one of them.... I love Johnny Cueto. He's not gonna light up the radar gun but he disrupts rhythm, keeps guys off balance, throws anything for strikes anytime. Everyone gets so excited about the 95- to 97-mph fastballs, but you see those guys today and you don't see them tomorrow because they huff and they puff and they blow their arms out. Guys like Cueto can pitch forever.... I'm looking for a big year from Jeff Samardzija.... With Matt Moore you have a nice quartet of starters.

MANAGER BRUCE BOCHY

11TH SEASON WITH SAN FRANCISCO

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

CF DENARD SPAN [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

L-L .266 .331 .381 1.0

1B BRANDON BELT [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

L-L .275 .394 .474 4.3

C BUSTER POSEY [DEFENSIVE STAR]

R-R .288 .362 .434 4.7

RF HUNTER PENCE [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

R-R .289 .357 .451 1.9

SS BRANDON CRAWFORD [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

L-R .275 .342 .430 4.5

3B EDUARDO NÚÑEZ

R-R .288 .325 .432 2.3

2B JOE PANIK

L-R .239 .315 .379 1.1

LF JARRETT PARKER

L-L .236 .358 .394 0.2

BENCH

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

IF CONOR GILLASPIE

L-R .262 .307 .440 1.1

IF JAE-GYUN HWANG [NEW ACQUISITION] [ROOKIE]

R-R .330 .391 .558 - [S. KOREA STATS]

OF MAC WILLIAMSON

R-R .223 .315 .411 0.4

W--L ERA K/9 WAR

LH MADISON BUMGARNER [TEAM MVP]

15--9 2.74 10.0. 5.0

RH JOHNNY CUETO

18--5 2.79 8.1 5.6

RH JEFF SAMARDZIJA

12--11 3.81 7.4 2.7

LH MATT MOORE

13--12 4.08 8.1 2.1

RH MATT CAIN [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

4--8 5.64 7.3 -0.7

SV ERA K/9 WAR

RH MARK MELANCON [NEW ACQUISITION]

47 1.64 8.2 1.1

RH HUNTER STRICKLAND

3 3.10 8.4 1.1

NEW ACQUISITION

2016 STATS

*S. KOREA STATS

(R) ROOKIE

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

BeliEVEN is dead, but the hopes of the Giants' home-grown core, which returns intact for another run, are not. A strong lineup could be undercut, however, by a leftfield platoon of Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson. Both project as replacement-level players, and San Francisco needs more. The future is now at AT&T Park, so dealing a top prospect like pitcher Tyler Beede to fill the hole (say, with the Tigers' J.D. Martinez or the Brewers' Ryan Braun) would be justified. A trade like that could add three crucial wins to a team within striking distance of the Dodgers.

BOTTOM LINE

The Giants can expect to win a lot of games this year—just not as many as their rivals to the south.